Today’s violent conflicts are proving deadlier and more difficult to resolve than ever before. In addition, there is a growing recognition of the role of climate change in exacerbating conflict risks. In light of these, a new report by UNU-CPR aims to support the UN and its partners in developing climate-sensitive conflict prevention approaches.
South Asia’s vulnerability to climate change and associated fragility risks calls for a regional approach to climate services. Different actors need to cooperate to share actionable climate information—the security architecture in the region would benefit.
Climate change poses a growing security risk in Central Asia and Afghanistan, where it has a particularly severe impact on glaciers and natural resources such as water, land and soil. As part of a preventive and stabilising foreign policy, the Federal Foreign Office launched Green Central Asia, a regional initiative on climate and security in the region on 28 January 2020.
South Asia is one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable regions. Many countries in the region lack the resources and capacities needed to cope with the worsening impacts of climate change. At the same time, climate change is increasingly interacting with socio-economic, demographic and political factors to exacerbate fragility risks.
For the past four decades, Afghanistan has suffered from the devastating impacts of constant armed conflict. Conflicts have increased Afghanistan’s already high vulnerability to climate change, the impacts of which may, in turn, help to create the conditions for continued violence.
In the Inner Mongolian county of Horinger, Northwestern China, afforestation efforts have transformed a barren, dusty landscape into a pine forest. Planting trees has diminished the sandstorms, boosted biodiversity and improved the environment generally. As the climate emergency worsens, the potential for planted trees to draw carbon out of the atmosphere is being re-examined. What can the world learn from the Chinese experience with afforestation?
A recently published paper by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has focused on the under-researched topic of how climate change impacts may affect violence in South and Southeast Asia. Titled “Climate change and violent conflict: Sparse evidence from South Asia and South East Asia”, the report highlights how little work has been done in looking at climate change and its possible impact on security in the most densely populated regions on the planet.
Pakistan’s unprecedented climate shocks make it clear: regional cooperation for managing shared waters is desperately needed. To halt the increasing impacts on agriculture and livelihoods that cripple the country’s economy, diplomacy is of paramount importance. In our interview, Moeen Khan explains how territorial and ethnic tensions with India hinder much-needed transboundary solutions – and how the international community can help.
China’s vision of a global energy system overemphasises the benefits of connectivity. Planners and investors also have to consider the potential impacts on biodiversity and local community livelihoods from different power generation methods and find ways to prevent them.
Ignoring cross border impacts of large infrastructure projects will spark conflict along rivers, argues Peter King. National level environmental impact assessments that ignore cross border impacts are likely to create conflict between countries.
Peat areas have played a pivotal role in conflicts globally, and have also been a point of contention during post-conflict recovery. Communities in Southeast Asia as well as in the countries of the Congo are facing challenges as finding political solutions for this problem.
The “Environment, Conflict and Cooperation” (ECC) exhibition visualizes the dramatic and growing impact of global environmental change. It demonstrates how climate change can threaten the security of the Asian continent, and showcases how climate, environment and sustainable development cooperation can contribute to stability and peace. Dealing with themes such as water, natural resources and climate change, the exhibition shows how environmental degradation and resource scarcity can spark conflict and create new security risks.
As Day Zeroes are becoming commonplace across the world, India needs to prepare itself for its worst-ever water crisis by establishing a network of water policies and programmes, ranging from community engagement to multilateral/bilateral collaboration.